ANTHONY AXFORD BOLTON LEAGUE: Stage is set for Lancashire Knockout battle
THE Bolton League title race may be over, but there is still plenty to play for in the final round of matches after a showery Sunday blew the race for the Lancashire Knockout places wide open.
Rain moved in at the end of the day, meaning teams able to get their matches finished early seized an important advantage.
Greenmount, seemingly out of the hunt, shot up to second with victory at Eagley, while Farnworth Social Circle recorded their fifth win in six matches against Tonge to go fifth.
Social Circle now face a shoot-out at Greenmount on Saturday, with the winners assured a knockout place.
But there was disappointment for Westhoughton, Egerton and Farnworth, whose matches were all abandoned due to rain.
Greenmount ground out their win at bottom-club Eagley, who slumped from a promising start of 62-0 to 131 all out, Phil Heaton (4-58) and Asif Zakir (4-31) doing the damage. Set a revised target of 106 from 40 overs, Greenmount wrapped up the match with 16 overs to spare, Andy Kerr hitting 40 and Phil Ingram 39.
Tim Rees hit 116 off 116 balls for Social Circle as they set Tonge an imposing target of 299-6.
Deputy pro Wilsden Cornwall made sure they fell 240 runs short with a stunning 8-30 from 8.1 overs.
Bradshaw’s match at home to Walkden had to be abandoned with the visitors on 85-8 from 27 overs in response to their 243-6. But because Walkden had passed the 25-over mark, a result was declared on run-rate, with Bradshaw running out victors.
The win was set up by Anthony Harris’s measured 96 for Bradshaw, while Steve Foster’s 5-35 very nearly claimed victory for the home side without the need of a calculator. In the abandoned matches Westhoughton came closest to getting a result. Set a target of 145-9 at home to Astley Bridge they made it to 75-3 – just 18 short of their revised target.